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Barrow green-lighted for low-interest, environmental loan

WINDER -- An environment state agency has green-lighted a low-interest loan for Barrow County that could finance the installation of more than a mile of water main, fire hydrants, a service pump and 300,000-gallon storage tank, officials recently said.

Georgia Environmental Finance Authority Executive Director Kevin Clark announced approval of financing for environmental infrastructure projects in eight Georgia communities totaling $16.7 million.

Barrow County was approved for a Georgia Fund loan -- a state-funded program administered by GEFA for water, wastewater and solid waste infrastructure projects -- of $3 million, with a 3.13 percent interest rate over 20 years, officials said.

"The water, sewer and solid waste programs administered by GEFA assist local governments with improving their environmental infrastructure," said Clark in a release. "Financing water, sewer and solid waste projects encourages economic growth and the stewardship of our environment."

Clark credited the state's commitment to helping cities and counties finance infrastructure development as a primary contributor to GEFA's success.

"GEFA financing for water, sewer and solid waste infrastructure helps communities in all areas of the state," said Grady Thompson, chairman of the GEFA board of directors.

GEFA aims to help communities prepare for economic growth and development through the provision of low-interest loans.

The Georgia Fund provides loans to local governments for projects such as water and sewer lines, treatment plants, pumping stations, wells, water storage tanks and water meters. Low-interest loans are available up to $3 million.

Since 1985, GEFA has approved financial commitments totaling more than $3 billion to local governments, businesses and nonprofit organizations, leaders said.

Other than Barrow County, GEFA board of directors approved the commitments to help finance water and sewer infrastructure improvements for the cities of Camilla, Leesburg, Martin, Richmond Hill, Springfield and Wrens, and Baldwin County.